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Financial News: March 12 Is Equal Pay Day - Women

March 12 Is Equal Pay Day - Women Earn Only 78 Cents For Every Dollar Men Earn

03/12/2024 - 13:54:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - This year, <b>Equal Pay Day</b> in the U.S. falls on Tuesday, March 12.

So what is the significance of the Equal Pay Day? It is a day that was originated by the National Committee on Pay Equity, or NCPE, in 1996 to promote public awareness regarding the gap between men's and women's wages.

This is a date that symbolizes how far into the year women must work to earn what men earned in the previous year. So, women have to work around 14.5 months to make what men earned in 12 months. According to the Census Bureau, full-time working women earned 84 cents for every dollar men earned. The wage gap is 16 percent and is based on the data available from the 2022 Census. However, this falls to 78 cents when women working part-time and part-year are included, the Equal Pay Today Campaign said.

This <b>wage gap</b> adds up to $11,450 for a woman over the course of a year, costing all women more than $1.6 trillion in pay each year, according to the National Partnership for Women & Families.

"Women's labor force participation is the highest it has been in decades, and the gender pay gap is the narrowest it has ever been on record," President Joe Biden said in a proclamation on Monday. "Yet, despite this progress, the fight for equal pay continues."

"America cannot have the strongest economy in the world while leaving women - half our workforce - behind," Biden added.

<b>The wage gap was wider for women of color.</b>

While the wage gap was 20 percent for white, non-Hispanic women versus white, non-Hispanic men, the wage gap was 31 percent for Black women and 43 percent for Hispanic women. The Department of Labor blamed <b>job segregation</b> for the persistent pay inequities experienced by women in the U.S.

A research report by the Labor Department revealed that Black women lost $42.7 billion in wages compared to white men in 2023 and Hispanic women lost $53.3 billion in wages. This was due to the fact that Black and Hispanic women are concentrated disproportionately in jobs that, on average, pay lower wages than those held by white men, the Labor Department said.

"Job segregation results in lower wages for women, especially women of color and their families, and hurts the whole economy," Women's Bureau Director Wendy Chun-Hoon said.

Recent research from the Institute for Women's Policy Research, or IWPR, showed that women earned less than men for full-time work in all 20 of the largest occupations for women and in all of the 20 largest occupations for men.

"At this rate, women will have to wait until 2053 for full pay equity," IWPR President and CEO Jamila Taylor said. "Accelerating change will require bold policy shifts to address employment discrimination, support job creation, protect workers, ensure a living wage, and solidify the caregiving supports women need to balance career and family."

The IWPR research showed that among the five jobs with the worst pay inequities were those of financial managers, where women earned only 71 percent of what men earned, and those of retail sales persons, where women earned only 72 percent. For education and childcare administrator jobs, women made 79 percent of what men earned. In administrative assistant jobs, the ratio was 80 percent, and for managers, it was 81 percent. The profession with the smallest gender wage gap was cashier, where women earned 98 percent of what men earn, the IWPR report said.

Several efforts are being planned to <b>close the wage gap</b>, including pay transparency policy reforms such as posting pay ranges for different jobs in ads and prohibiting employers from seeking information on salary history from job candidates.

The Biden Administration recently announced that it would ban the use of salary history for setting the wages of federal workers and is proposing the same for jobs with federal contractors.

Legislation is also in the pipeline to address pay equity and increase wage transparency. These include the Paycheck Fairness Act and the Salary Transparency Act.

For comments and feedback: contact editorial@rttnews.com

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